Next month will see the launch of an entirely new smartphone design that has so-far eluded every major manufacturer, including Apple and Samsung.
Last week Chinese manufacturer, ZTE, announced plans to produce the first smartphone with an under-screen selfie camera. Now we know that the new device, called the ZTE Axon 20 5G, is due to launch on September 1, significantly ahead of any competing manufacturer.
In a recent press release, ZTE claims the Axon 20 5G will be “the world’s first mass-produced 5G smartphone featuring an under-display camera.” The new camera allows for an all-screen smartphone that does away with any unsightly punch-holes or notches.
This development marks the latest in a series of breakthroughs for the company, which can also lay claim to the first 5G smartphone, first foldable smartphone, first pressure-sensitive display and first smartphone with a naked-eye 3D display.
Being first is, of course, no guarantee of success. After all, none of the pioneering devices listed above became household names. However, the company hopes the Axon 20 5G will “further promote the development of display technologies in the smartphone industry”, according to the announcement.
Under-screen cameras are particularly challenging because both the camera and the display above it must make compromises in order to deliver their required function. Any camera placed under the screen will receive less light than an exposed lens, while the screen must be able to temporarily create a transparent area in front of the lens which can impact display quality during normal use.
Regardless of its eventual popularity, the launch of the ZTE Axon 20 5G will provide a crucial insight into the state of this new technology. If it proves successful, it won’t be too long before the likes of Samsung and Apple jump on board, potentially changing mass market flagship smartphone designs forever.
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